Recap by: John Sullivan, Rice Athletics (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HOUSTON -- Six Rice players collected two or more hits, including six for extra bases, as the Owls' baseball team defeated visiting Southeastern Louisiana 15-5 Saturday afternoon at Reckling Park in Houston.
The Lions struck quick and jumped on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning with a pair of runs on three hits. Rice battled right back with two runs in its half of the frame that featured triples in the inning from both Charlie Warren and Dane Myers.
A combined four runs after six outs might have had the makings of both teams in a shootout, but with some immediate offensive support Rice starter Ricardo Salinas settled down and held the heavy hitting Lions scoreless for the next four innings while ringing-up a season-high seven strikeouts. The Owls' offense, however, continued to apply pressure and proceeded to add a total of 12 more runs by the end of the fourth.
The Blue & Gray took the lead, 4-2, with two runs in the second before adding four more in the third on the strength of a grand slam home run by Ryan Chandler. Chandler's blast to right field stretched the lead to 8-2, but Rice still wasn't finished. In the bottom of the fourth the Owls exploded for six more runs to stretch the margin to twelve, 14-2. The big blow was a bases-clearing double by true freshman Brad Gneiting, one of two doubles he had on a 3-for-5 day with four RBI and two runs scored.
A lot of Owls posted similar stat lines on the day. Chandler tied a career-high with four RBI and set a new personal best scoring a total of four times in his five trips to the plate. Warren finished with a triple among his three hits and Dominic DiCaprio scored twice on a 2-for-5 day to raise his team-leading early-season average to .474.
Rice improved to 3-4 on the season. Southeastern Louisiana is now 3-2 overall. The weekend series is now tied 1-1. The finale of the three-game set is scheduled for 1 pm Sunday at Reckling Park.